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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Detective > Drama > Children > Crime > Brirish > Enid Blytonís Famous Five: Five On A Treasure Island + Five With A Mystery To Solve (1957 & 1964/BFI (British Film Institute) DVDs/Region 2 Imports)

Enid Blytonís Famous Five: Five On A Treasure Island + Five With A Mystery To Solve (1957 & 1964/BFI (British Film Institute) DVDs/Region 2 Imports)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Episodes: C+

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: These PAL DVDs are only available in the U.K. from our friends at BFI and can be ordered from them at the website address links provided below at the end of the review or at finer retailers.

 

 

In the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew literary tradition, Enid Blytonís Famous Five characters offers mature children/young teen characters with some intelligence taking on rather adult situations, usually of a nature of robbery, mystery and sometimes murder.Before the hit TV versions that were made in the late 1970s and late 1990s, two serializations were made on film and have not always been readily available to fans.Now, BFI has issued both on separate DVDs of the two adventures made at the time, likely to compete with what Disney was doing on TV with their Hardy Boys on The Mickey Mouse Club.

 

Five On A Treasure Island (1957) has the gang looking for hidden treasure at Kirrin Castle, but some adults have other plans for the lootÖ and them.Dick (John Baily), Ann (Gillian Harrison), George (Rel Grainer), Julian (Richard Palmer) and Timmy The Dog have eight chapters to solve this one, while Five With A Mystery To Solve (1964, with Dick now played by Darryl Reed, Julian by David Palmer, George by Mandy Harper and Ann by Paula Boyd) run a shorter 6 installments and has the gang going to an island with dark secrets and a young man named Wilfred (Michael Wennink) who can seemingly communicate with animals.

 

What I like about the series are their smartness and not wanting or needing to hit the young audience over the head with anything, including ad placements and any condescending mentalities.It also tends to move at a slower pace than I would have even liked then, being a fan of such fiction at a young age.Still, these are interesting, quality productions and their release on DVD is deserved and sure to find an audience that appreciates such child-friendly work.Peter Burton and Iris Russell are among the supporting cast of the first series, while Michael Balfour and Keith Pyott head the second cast.

 

 

The 1.33 X 1 black and white image is from 35mm fine grain prints and look good for their age, with good gray scale and good detail, while the Dolby Digital 320 kbps 2.0 Mono comes from a 35mm audio print.The only extras in both releases are booklets inside each of the respective DVD cases with text, technical information, stills, poster art, promo items, boo covers and essays by Vic Pratt and two different essays on each film by Norman Wright.

 

You can order these DVDs at the following links:

 

Island

http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_17406.html

 

Solve

http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_17405.html

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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